We hope even more new fans will discover the great football we are playing, says Chair Jack Payne
DULWICH HAMLET are giving people an opportunity to mark Non-League Day by paying what they want to watch the Ryman Premier League clash against Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.
Once costs have been covered, Dulwich Hamlet will be making a donation to two homeless charities; The Robes Project and UK Homes 4 Heroes.
These are the two chosen charities for The Mayor of Southwark, Cllr. Sunil Chopra, who will be attending the game, arriving at the stadium at a quarter-to-three.
The south London club are expecting a bumper crowd for the game and advise supporters to arrive early to take advantage of the catering at the tea bar and drinks for all the family in the clubhouse, including real ale from local breweries, ahead of the three o’clock kick-off.
The average attendance at Champion Hill last season was 665 and the club are hoping that enough of the local community come along to smash the attendance record at the ground, which is 1,835 against Southport in The FA Cup back in 1998.
The offer is part of Non-League Day, which is in its fourth year.
This was set up to encourage football fans from Football League and Premier League sides, as well as local people, to visit their local non-league side, when their main team is not playing.
There are no games in the top two divisions on Saturday, so this is the perfect opportunity to watch Gavin Rose’s exciting team in action.
Dulwich Hamlet have also been chosen as an ambassador club for the national footballing anti-racism and discrimination Kick It Out organisation, one of only four non-league clubs to be nominated to carry their message on the day.
This forms part of Kick It Out’s Season Of Action campaign to mark their 20th anniversary.
Each player on the teams will be led out by young children, from the Dulwich Hamlet Football in the Community scheme, with the Kick It Out banner prominently carried by them.
At half-time the kids will be displaying their skills in a showcase exhibition of mini coaching and football drill session.
Separate from the club, regular fans of the club will start the afternoon by leading a march at 2pm, accompanied by music, from the north-west corner of Peckham Rye Park to the ground, which is a stone’s throw away from East Dulwich train station.
This will allow new fans to mingle with regulars and learn about the club on the way to the ground.
Friends of Peckham Rye Fete will also be happening from midday, so it will enable those attending the fete to then move onto Champion Hill with the march.
After the match, manager Rose, his coaching staff and first team will all be taking part in an ice bucket challenge on the pitch. This will be sponsored by the Hamlet fans and the money raised will be jointly split between the Mayor of Southwark’s charitable causes and the players’ chosen charity, the ALS Foundation.
Dulwich Hamlet chairman Jack Payne said: “We’ve been unfortunate in the past to have been playing away on Non-League Day.
“This year we’re hoping for a huge crowd, with a great atmosphere to make up for that.
“We hope even more new fans will discover the great football we are playing under Gavin Rose.”
Mishi Morath, committee member for community development said: “Our crowds are growing year by year. This is a great way to thank our local community for supporting their local Club. We are giving something back in appreciation.
“And it’s great to spread the Kick it Out message, to show that everyone is welcome at Champion Hill, regardless of race, age, gender, disability or sexuality. That sounds obvious in this day and age, but many people have this tired Seventies cliché of football which we don’t just dispel at Champion Hill, but blow out of the water.”
The day is also being supported by the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust.
Chair, Eddie Muraszko, added: “One of the main aims of the Trust is to secure a successful and sustainable future for the football club, with fans’ interests at its core. The best way to achieve this is to add further to our already growing crowds. The noise made by the Rabble behind the goal has certainly helped with this, and we always give new fans a friendly welcome.”
Meanwhile, The Hamlet welcome unbeaten league leaders Margate to Champion Hill on Tuesday night (7:45pm).
The club play at Champion Hill Stadium, Edgar Kail Way, Dog Kennel Hill, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD and will welcome you at both of their games this week and for the remainder of the season.
Visit Dulwich Hamlet’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/dulwichhamlet